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Dunn sentenced to 10 years probation for child porn



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December 08, 2010 | 08:40 AM
Elkhorn — Writer, museum curator, teacher, and now, registered sex offender.

Walter S. Dunn, 82, LaFayette Township, was sentenced to six months of confinement under the Huber law, followed by 10 years of probation after pleading guilty earlier to one count of possession of child pornography.

Walworth County Judge James Carlson also imposed and stayed a three-year prison term, which could be enforced if Dunn violates his probation.

Carlson also fined Dunn $1,000 and he was charged a $500 surcharge for each of the six pictures deemed child pornography by the court. Sentencing was Dec. 1.

Asked if he had anything to say before sentencing, Dunn declined.

Dunn pleaded guilty to possession of child pornography in September. He was arrested in June after a computer repair technician found the pornographic images on a hard drive in a computer that Dunn dropped off to be repaired. Conditions of probation are that Dunn will not access a computer, will not access the internet, will have no contact with minors and will receive counseling and treatment. He must also submit a DNA sample.

During the Huber stay, Dunn will be allowed to go home during the day to be with his wife, who needs care. He will spend the evenings behind bars. The couple have no children.

Carlson set his sentence to begin within the next 60 days, during which Dunn will have to contact a probation officer and find alternative care for his wife when he is at the Huber dorm.

By law, Dunn faced up to 25 years in prison and a $100,000 fine.

The reason for the relative leniency of the sentence, cited by both Walworth County District Attorney Phil Koss, and defense attorney Bradley Lochowicz, is Dunn's age. The DA's office recommended probation.

According to Koss, the images found on Dunn's computer were digitized photographs of nude girls under 18 engaged in sex with adult men.

Koss said the response Dunn made to some questions asked of him during presentencing indicated that Dunn was trying to minimize the incident.

Koss said that although there are no specific victims of this particular crime, children are nonetheless harmed because of the market for child pornography, Koss said.

"Every time it (the image) moved through the market, that victim is reassaulted," Koss said.

Reading from a presentencing report, Carlson said that Dunn had what amounted to an addiction to pornography since his teens. He started by collecting magazines, photographs and films, Carlson said.

Yet, while doing that, Dunn was also wrote more than a dozen history books about World War II, Walworth County and the American frontier. He was also a museum curator who once worked at the State Historical Society Museum.

Both Carlson and Koss mentioned the incongruity between Dunn's work as a scholar and academic and his pursuit of smut. In fact, according to the presentencing report, Dunn organized his pornography collection much like a museum collection, Koss said.

While the child pornography was a very small part of the thousands of images and tapes he had collected, he made no effort to delete the child porn he did have, Koss said.

Lochowicz said Dunn accepted responsibility for his actions and acknowledged the need for counseling and treatment. He said his client was embarrassed by his arrest and that he had child porn on his computer.

After Dunn's June 2 arrest, authorities found about 2,000 CDs and 400 VHS tapes of adult pornography found at his rural home.

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